Please contact your state Representative and urge him or her to support HB 562 with the provision replacing the outdated Pistol Purchase System (PPP) with the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)!
The North Carolina Sheriffs' Association (NCSA) continues to be the only real roadblock to passing the PPP repeal contained in House Bill 562. While the NCSA claims it has support for its position from at least 90% of its members, dozens of sheriffs have told NRA they support our position of repealing PPP and transitioning to NICS currently utilized by the majority of the country.
Numerous anti-gun organizations appear to be working in lock-step with the NCSA, and have been buying up air time to defeat the whole bill. While the only real area of contention with many legislators remains the PPP repeal and the conflicting positions held by NRA and the NCSA, it would seem that sheriffs are being used as pawns to promote the anti-gun agenda of folks like billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The stated disagreement between NRA and the NCSA appears to be that NRA wants to repeal this outdated, inefficient system that allows sheriffs to use discretion when deciding who will be allowed to purchase a handgun. The NCSA, however, claims it wants to maintain the PPP system to allow sheriffs to continue to use discretion. But the efforts of sheriffs clearly support part, if not all, of the anti-gun extremists agenda which is to completely derail HB 562.
Regardless of whatever are the true intentions of the NCSA, one individual in each county should not be allowed to continue to use personal discretion to deny law-abiding citizens the ability to lawfully purchase handguns in North Carolina.
In addition to the discretion problem, however, is the outrageous cost to running this outdated, inefficient system. NCSA even commented on how archaic the PPP system is in a recent report, stating "it is rooted in paper applications reviewed by sheriffs' personnel who do manual, individual background checks on each applicant." One county estimates that it costs approximately $50.54 to process each PPP. Even if that number is above average, and we consider an average cost of $40.00 to process each PPP, the annual cost to North Carolina to run the PPP would be over $5 million. That is based on an NCSA report that indicates there is an average of 134,961 PPPs issued each year. By transitioning from PPP to NICS (which is funded at the federal level), not only would you eliminate an outdated, inefficient system that allows for unconstitutional discretion, but North Carolina would save probably $5 million dollars a year. Perhaps more.
Please continue to write or call your state Representative and urge them to work with the NRA to pass HB 562 with language that replaces the current PPP system with NICS, a system currently used by the majority of states around the country.